Combatting the drug epidemic with data
In the State of Indiana, approximately 90% of individuals with addiction begin using illicit drugs before the age of 18. Since 1999, the number of opioid poisoning deaths increased by 500%. (Executive Order 17-01) This dramatic increase in substance use and opioid-poisoning deaths have brought the State to the level of a large-scale epidemic.
Building Collaborative Partnerships
On his first day of office, Governor Eric Holcomb signed Executive Order 17-01 creating the position of Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement to centralize leadership and direction to fight this epidemic at the state level.
MPH supports the Executive Director's efforts by bringing together subject-matter experts and data from multiple state agency silos enabling key executive branch decision makers to view broad substance abuse trends in the state.
Connecting Relevant Data
MPH serves as the data component of the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse in two ways:
- Secures and connects all relevant drug data across state government agencies as provided by the Commission's Data Working Group.
- Provides the associated technical services needed to present the data in a form that is useful to decision makers.
MPH also partners with state agency executives and researchers, helping them leverage data to inform substance abuse policy inquiries, further enabling data-informed policymaking efforts.
While the flow of information between state agencies has historically been difficult, MPH is working to provide these agencies with access to view information relating to the broader opioid epidemic-- no longer are agencies limited to the information flowing into their agency silo. This interagency exchange of information has resulted in Family and Social Services Administration adding five more treatment centers in key areas around the state.